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Patent office governance and patent examination quality

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  • Picard, Pierre M.
  • van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno

Abstract

The present paper discusses the role of quality in patent examination process from the perspective of patent offices' behavior and organization. After documenting original stylized facts, the paper presents a model in which patent offices set patent fees and the quality level of their examination process. A higher effort in the examination process enhances the patent holders' protection in the judicial system and strengthens the screening of innovations with small inventive steps. We compare the quality of the examination process for various objectives of patent offices. Patent examination quality is the highest in an office maximizing incentives to innovate and the lowest in that maximizing the number of granted patents. A rent-seeking patent office can provide good incentives to innovate if it does not set too high markups on fees.

Suggested Citation

  • Picard, Pierre M. & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "Patent office governance and patent examination quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 14-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:104:y:2013:i:c:p:14-25 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.04.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lei, Zhen & Wright, Brian D., 2017. "Why weak patents? Testing the examiner ignorance hypothesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 43-56.
    2. Corinne Langinier & Philippe Marcoul, 2016. "The Search of Prior Art and the Revelation of Information by Patent Applicants," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(3), pages 399-427, November.
    3. Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2016. "Patent oppositions and opposition outcomes: evidence from domestic appliance companies," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 183-203, February.
    4. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:5:p:1005-1019 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Adam B. Jaffe, 2014. "Are Patent Fees Effective at Weeding out Low-quality Patents?," NBER Working Papers 20785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Patent system; Quality; Intellectual property; Public firm organization;

    JEL classification:

    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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